Monday, April 13, 2009

direct cheap flights to Orlando

After success of landing a direct flight to New York's LaGuardia Airport, Charleston's Yeager Airport will now offer flights to Orlando...

The direct flights will run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday starting on June 25, said Kanawha Commission President Kent Carper.

The initial fare has been set at $79 each way, he said.

Local officials have been trying for years to get a direct flight to Orlando, he said. The new route also brings the possibility of additional flights, he said.

"The general trend when comes into a new area and it does well, they tend to add other routes," Carper said. "That's the exciting part."

Yeager Director Rick Atkinson said the new flights will use Boeing 717 planes, which seat 118 passengers.

"This is big news," he said.

AirTran, based in Orlando, is the nation's second-largest low-cost airline carrier after Southwest airlines.

In recent weeks, AirTran also announced new Florida flights for other smaller cities, including: Asheville, North Carolina; Knoxville & Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Allentown in Pennsylvania.

One of the factors that helped close the deal with Charleston was a willingness by Yeager to invest in new baggage-handling equipment, Carper said.

The new equipment is expected to cost roughly $60,000.

Yeager's latest list of upgrades, funded largely with federal stimulus funds, include a new baggage carousel, a canopy covering the entrance area to the airport and a new covered, elevated walkway connecting the terminal to the parking building.

A total of $4.7 million in stimulus funds for terminal building improvements has been allocated to Yeager.